Changing a Child’s Name After a Divorce

IL divorce lawyerAfter a divorce, it is common for an individual to go back to their maiden name or take the last name of the person they are remarrying. In Illinois, anyone who has undergone a divorce has the freedom to change their name whenever they would like.

When it comes to changing the last names of children, however, the law is a tad more complex. Following a divorce, a judge will take a child’s best interests into consideration when deciding whether to approve a last name change. Under Illinois law, a judge is required to ask the following questions when a parent would like to change their child’s last name:

  • Does the child’s other parent approve of the last name change?
  • Is the child okay with changing their last name?
  • What type of relationship does the child have with their other parent and family members? For example, does the child have a poor relationship with the father whose last name they currently have?

Why Change a Child’s Name

It is important to understand that changing a child’s last name following a divorce is a significant legal endeavor. Since a last name plays a vital role in a child’s identity, if you decide to change your child’s last name, know that it will impact them for the rest of their life.

You may choose to change your last’s name if their other parent is not in the picture, has abused your child, or abandoned them. In addition, if there is a stepparent that is adopting your child, changing their last name may create a more united family.

Process of Changing a Child’s Name

If you wish to change your child’s last name after a divorce, you will have to go through the court. It is important to consult an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and assist you in properly filling out these forms:

  • Request for name change;
  • Notice of court date for name change request; and
  • Order for change of name.

Your name change request will need to be approved by the child’s other parent. You will not be able to change their name without their approval unless you are the only one with legal parental rights.

Consult an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

If you are interested in changing your child’s name after a divorce, reach out to our highly skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers. Call us at 630-920-8855 today.


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